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Hale Smith

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Hale Smith June 29, 1925 – November 24, 2009 was an American composer, pianist, educator, arranger, and editor


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Selected works
  • 3 Legacy
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Smith studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, graduating with a BM degree in 1950, and obtaining an MM in 1952 There, his instructors included Marcel Dick composition, Ward Lewis theory, Dorothy Price piano, and Robert U Nelson calligraphy In 1953 Smith's opera Blood Wedding premiered in Cleveland

He moved to New York in 1958 and taught at C W Post College on Long Island, New York until 1970 He later taught at the University of Connecticut

His awards include the first composition prize of BMI Student Composer Awards sponsored by Broadcast Music, Inc 1952, the Cleveland Arts Prize 1973, and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters 1988

He received an honorary doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1988

Smith died on November 24, 2009, from the complications of a stroke, in Freeport, Long Island, New York, at the age of 84

Selected works

  • Orchestral Set 1952
  • In Memoriam - Beryl Rubinstein 1953
  • The Valley Wind 1955
  • Contours for Orchestra 1960
  • By Yearning and By Beautiful 1964
  • Evocation 1966
  • Music for harp and chamber orchestra 1967
  • I Love Music c 1970 - subsequently recorded by Betty Carter, Joe Lovano, and Ahmad Jamal on his album The Awakening
  • Somersault 1974
  • Ritual and Incantation 1974
  • Innerflexions 1977
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture, 1803 1979
  • Meditations in Passage 1982
  • Variations à due 1984
  • Dialogues & Commentaries 1990–91


"Hale Smith Day" was declared for February 21, 2010 by the Honorable Andrew Hardwick, Mayor of the village of Freeport, at a concert given in Smith's honor at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation The congregation, located in Freeport, has a Hale Smith Day concert each February in conjunction with the Long Island Composers' Alliance


  1. ^ De Lerma, Dominique-Rene "African Heritage Symphonic Series" Liner note essay Cedille Records CDR061
  2. ^ Thedeadrockstarsclubcom - accessed November 2009
  3. ^ "Hale Smith, African American Composer, Pianist & Professor" African Heritage in Classical Music AfriClassicalcom 2006 Retrieved 12 November 2013  Nb: this citation applies to the entire list of works
  4. ^ Price, Emmett George, ed 2011 Encyclopedia of African American Music 3 ABC-CLIO p 60 Retrieved 12 November 2013 
  5. ^ Giddins, Gary 1998 Visions of Jazz: The First Century Oxford University Press p 614 Retrieved 12 November 2013 
  • Breda, Malcolm Joseph 1975 Hale Smith: A Biographical and Analytical Study of the Man and His Music PhD dissertation, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Caldwell, Hansonia La Verne 1975 "Conversation With Hale Smith, A Man of Many Parts" The Black Perspective in Music, vol 3, no 1, pp 59–76 spring 1975

External links

  • Hale Smith's page at Theodore Presser Company
  • Hale Smith page
  • Hale Smith tribute
  • Hale Smith at AfriClassicalcom
  • Interview with Hale Smith by Bruce Duffie, January 26, 1987

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